Posted on 25 November 2016
You know they work – you’ve heard the benefits and you’ve read the reviews
Now clean ‘nasties’ from your system and enjoy 20% savings
You know the story: the performance of all systems, at any price level, is degraded by internal vibration and Radio Frequency contamination. Quite simply, Vertex AQ components absorb and drain away some of the damage, making your system more revealing, engaging and satisfying.
- sweeter high frequencies
- more open sound stage
- better timing
- deeper, cleaner bass
- changes that would cost much more with conventional upgrading (and the vibration and RFI would still lurk!)
We’re offering a full 20% discount until Sunday 27 November on mains-cleaning Jaya filters, vibration- and RF-absorbing Pico blocks and the Aneto mains DC filters.
* Detailed descriptions below.
- Standard Jaya mains filter (£421) now £337
- Silver Jaya mains filter (£677) now £542
- HiRez Jaya mains filter (£1200) now £960
- Standard Aneto mains DC blocker (£630) now £504
- Silver Aneto mains DC blocker (£998) now £798
- HiRez Aneto DC mains blocker (£1494) now £1195
- Pico Component Grounding Block (£419) now £335, with 2 x 1m cables
- Pico Binding Post Grounding Blocks (£839/pair) now £671 with 4 x 0.5m cables
* Component descriptions
- Jaya mains filter are plugged into a spare supply socket, either alongside the equipment or sometimes elsewhere on the ring main circuit. They are not in the supply line and therefore do not limit current supply. More information: <http://vertexaq.com/vertex-aq-jaya-mains-filters/>
- Standard Jayas are wired with silver-plated copper (OFC) and contain a passive shunt filter circuit with direct acoustic absorption.
- Silver Plus Jayas are wired with solid-core silver conductors and contain a wide bandwidth passive shunt filter with direct acoustic absorption.
- HiRez Jayas are wired with solid-core silver conductors and contain an ultra-wide bandwidth passive shunt filter with enhanced acoustic absorption and RFI/EMI reduction/absorption.
- Aneto mains DC Blockers are placed in-line between the mains source and the system component, with a female IEC input socket and a 0.75m output cable terminated with an IEC male plug. Anetos block DC on the mains that can overload transformers, reducing their output and causing them to buzz. More information: <http://vertexaq.com/vertex-aq-aneto-dc-blockers/>
- Standard Anetos contain a DC blocking circuit and passive shunt filter with direct acoustic absorption and an OFC output cable.
- Silver Anetos contain a DC blocking circuit and wide bandwidth passive shunt filter with enhanced acoustic absorption and a solid-core silver output cable.
- HiRez Anetos contain a DC blocking circuit and wide bandwidth passive shunt filter with enhanced acoustic absorption and RFI/EMI reduction/absorption and with a solid-core silver output cable.
- Pico Blocks provide a direct drain path from the ground plane of electronics which is always contaminated with electrical “noise”. There are two versions: Component Grounding Blocks connect to any unused sockets (RCA, BNC or XLR – specify termination) on source components and preamps, Binding Post Blocks are supplied in pairs and connect either to power amp speaker terminals or to the speakers themselves. More information: <http://vertexaq.com/vertex-aq-pico-grounding-blocks/>
Please do contact us if you would like any further information or explanations.
Posted on 11 September 2016
Hear a radical new amplifier and speakers
Win a pure silver mains lead worth £930
Discover invaluable tips at our seminars
Venue: Whittlebury Hall **, Towcester, NN12 8QH on 17 and 18 September
Syndicate Room S27
Vertex AQ take vibration and RFI absorption in a system a major step forward with their technology applied inside ground breaking full-range single-driver loudspeakers and a new 60W solid-state stereo amplifier, being launched at the Whittlebury Hall hifi show 17-18 September.
This “Systematic Approach” with the Vertex range of products lays permanent foundations to tackle these serious polluters. Many hundreds of satisfied customers, now in nine countries, have discovered total system upgrades impossible to achieve by conventional “box changing”.
With this amplifier/speaker combination liberated from the damaging effects of vibration and RFI pollution, that bog down most untreated systems, expect to hear startling speed, clarity, imaging and immaculate timing – musicians playing together and “present” in the room.
Please check the Vertex AQ web site for more detailed information and specifications (coming soon).
Aletheia FRS-8 loudspeakers
The first of a new range of speakers from Vertex AQ, the Aletheia FRS-8 is a full-range, single driver floor-standing speaker. It uses an ultra-high quality full-range single drive unit that needs no crossover, bringing huge advantages of integration, phase accuracy and efficiency.
As loudspeakers, like any other component in the hifi chain, can suffer from the problems of RFI and mechanical energy pollution Vertex then add their proprietary vibration and RFI absorption internally to the drive unit and the cabinet for further benefits in tonal accuracy, transparency, timing and imaging.
There is even an option for additional absorption to attach a Pico module externally and we shall demonstrate its effectiveness.
Aletheia AP-60 amplifier
A low-noise two-stage amplifier, the Vertex AQ AP-60 is a solid-state 60W class A/B design that employs current feedback for exceptional bandwidth and speed.
Amplifiers are especially prone to suffer microphony, caused by vibration from their large power supplies and also fed back directly into them along the cables from the biggest source in the system – the vibrating loudspeakers. This damaging process blurs timing, reduces tonal accuracy, closes in the sound stage and adds significant harshness to the sound.
Naturally Vertex tackle this damage with extensive EMI, RFI and acoustic absorption throughout the design – on the mains input, on signal inputs and outputs and with acoustic drains on circuit boards.
In addition to its clarity, imaging and speed, the most significant gain with this amplifier design is the structural coherence of the music, no matter how complex and dense. Crucial inner strands so often lost in the maelstrom, but essential for the flow and sense of the music, now emerge from the mix.
Seminars on both days
(Saturday 11.00am and Sunday 3.00pm)
You’ve bought the kit, now discover how to make it sound right. Wise words from us learned from hundreds of systems.
“It’s not sounding right but I’m not sure why. Is it the speakers or the amp?
"Do I need to dampen the room somehow? – it does sound rather bright.”
Quite possibly it’s none of those things. Your kit is almost certainly a lot more capable than you realise, ie you’re not getting the best out of it.
Come for advice gained from hundreds of systems over 20+ years, from things you can change – FREE – to things you can’t change, unless you’re building a new room! At least in that case you’ll understand the limitations and plan accordingly.
Posted on 05 June 2016
Huge savings on ex-dem dCS components
Order by 12 June and save a further 5%!
Upgrade and discover new delights in your music collection
We’re clearing some of our ex-demonstration stock at absolutely rock-bottom prices to make way for new items in the autumn.
These are first-quality UK stock – not grey imports – and therefore supported by dCS for any software upgrades or servicing. You won’t find equivalent dealer-backed components anywhere else at lower prices. And when I say dealer-backed I’m offering these components with a full 12 months’ warranty for parts and labour.
Puccini SACD/CD player
See what you think:
|| Our price £
|| Best – 5% discount £ |
| Paganini D/A converter (black)
|| 4,745 |
| Paganini Upsampler (black)
|| 3,463 |
| Scarlatti Upsampler (silver)
|| 3,795 |
| Scarlatti Clock (silver)
|| 2,731 |
| Puccini CD/SACD player (silver)
|| 4,736 |
| Puccini U-Clock (silver)
|| 1,853 |
You can look up the components that interest you on the dCS web site:
An item that tends to be overlooked is the separate clock, probably because clocking is built into other parts of the chain. However, in a good, revealing system the clock contribution can be profound, particularly in timing and flow – musicians play much more together. It's the difference between a good amateur performance and that of a well-rehearsed professional production.
All these components are in good/excellent condition and complete with original packaging and user manuals.
Order by 12 June for the extra 5% saving!
Posted on 15 November 2015
This year we are running continuous demonstrations of recorded music for three days**
alongside live concerts at the renowned Bath Mozartfest.
It's the first time ever at this festival that concertgoers have had the chance to listen to audiophile quality reproduction on their way into a live performance.
Our theme for the series is "Re-create the 'live' performance – at home."
It seemed appropriate to us on the festival's 25th anniversary to remind people of the sound quality that's rapidly being forgotten with the march of downloaded compressed music and replay from tablets and phones. We're acutely aware how very few people nowadays have any experience of the electrifying experience of music really well reproduced.
Even the term "high-fidelity" has been trashed by enthusiastic marketing departments, such that several times we have been asked to spell "hifi" in our email address – "Is that h-i-g-h?" we are asked! Oh dear.
Equipment will be: a CEC belt-drive CD transport, a Vertex Aletheia non-oversampling DAC, a Vitus RI-100 integrated amplifier and Kawero! Chiara loudspeakers. There will also be mains filtration and protection against vibration and RF contamination by Vertex AQ.
All are welcome to these demonstrations, not just those attending the concerts. Please come to Bath's Guildhall, close to the Abbey, and follow signs in the foyer.
** Continuous demonstrations on Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th November in the Guildhall. Times: from 10.30am on Monday and Tuesday and from 12.00 noon on Wednesday. There may well be a crush before and immediately after the concerts – at 1.00pm and 7.30pm – each day, so we suggest you avoid those times if you are not going to a concert.
Posted on 22 October 2015
For many people we created the "best sound at the show" with all three of the really serious Kaiser Acoustics Kawero! speakers at the Whittlebury Hall Show this year – Classic, Vivace and Chiara standmount – and we're offering some massive discounts on the Vivace and Chiara dem speakers.
The Vivace floorstander is the top specification, with the Vertex AQ crossover and upgraded wiring, retail £29,730, ex-dem offer £18,875, saving about 37%.
The Chiara standmount is also the top version, retail £14,509, ex-dem offer £9,535 saving about 34%.
Over the last 10 years all of them have created a stir wherever they are heard around the world, gaining regular enthusiastic comments and glowing magazine reviews. Click the links below.
More details on our web site: Kawero! speakers
There's a full selection of reviews under each speaker on the Kaiser Acoustics web site: Kaiser Acoustics
In hifi+ Paul Messenger's view of the Chiara was
: "The bottom line is that this is one of the finest loudspeakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reviewing. There’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ speaker, but the Chiara ticks more boxes than any alternative I can recall, somehow managing to combine many of the best features of both large and small loudspeakers, albeit at a substantial price"
And a huge range of reviews from public shows around the world: World show reviews
Posted on 24 November 2014
Save 15% on Vertex TODAY! Save £2000 on a DAC!
We're not going to be left behind this "Black Friday" *!
Place orders for any Vertex AQ component before midnight (UK time) today Friday 28 November and save 15% plus FREE postage.
To help, here are the Vertex full prices – you save at least 15%: retail oct'14.pdf
Make major savings on spectacular Vertex/Aletheia and LeadingEdge products.
Overseas? – we'll ship orders at lowest cost.
- On an Aletheia dac-1 dac-1 hf+85-1.pdf (read the review) you could save £1500 – £9495 (£10,995)
- or save £2000 on a dac-1.5 – £13,895 (£15,995)
- or £1000 on an Aletheia PSU-1 balanced power supply – £6495 (£7500)
- or £1535 (£1766) for a pair of 1.6m LeadingEdge acoustic panels
* Black Friday? Various interpretations, originating in the US. One is the huge disruption caused by heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic in Philadelphia on the day after Thanksgiving. More recently it's come to mark the uplift in sales (from the "red" into the "black") from promotions in the run up to Christmas.
Posted on 01 October 2014
At this year’s Whittlebury Hall show we featured Vertex AQ components, aiming to show how much damage is caused by vibration inside a hifi system.
"Best sound of the show by far" was the reaction of one visitor.
The Storm amplifier we used is on offer for only £1825! See under Sales.
In the demonstration a major loss of presence, clarity and soundstage, coupled with an increase in brittleness and edginess – were the results of removing just three items from our simple system that already enjoyed significant Vertex AQ mains cleaning and vibration draining. Most visitors heard the difference immediately and a gratifying number came back to listen for longer.
The items we removed were coupling cones under the electronics (vibration draining), Mini Panels at the sides of the equipment (RFI/EMI shielding) and the new Yushan speaker cable risers that also incorporate Vertex’s proprietary vibration and RFI/EMI absorption.
New Yushan speaker cable risers in their foam-lined box and Aneto DC blocker with Vibration and RFI/EMI absorptionSome visitor comments:
- Thanks, impressive
- Great sound (as always). Fantastic demo – really informative
- Best sound of the show by far
- Really enjoyed comparisons
- Very impressive demonstration
It’s important to realise that the electronics in this system totalled only about £8k, with an integrated amplifier** (on offer Ex-dem). Then we fed the signal to the fabulous, revealing Chiara loudspeakers so that differences, even in unfamiliar surroundings, were obvious.
Vertex items “back-stage” that remained in the system were the new HiRez Balanced Tag distribution Block, Vertex cabling throughout, LeadingEdge equipment supports incorporating Vertex technology and Component Grounding Blocks – contributing vibration and RFI/EMI absorption in different parts of the system.
Static display items from the far end: Mains power supplies – PSU2, HiRez Balanced Taga, HiRez Taga and Aneto DC blocker, Spline diffuser for room treatment, Yushan speaker cable risers, Component Grounding Blocks – 6-way and 2-way, HiRez analogue and digital interconnects, LeadingEdge platform with key coupling cone on the plate at the front
Four LeadingEdge panels provided acoustic treatment for the room to lower overall unwanted energy from reflections, “calming” the otherwise hard sound of the room.
The Prize Draw for a Vertex Component Grounding Block was won by Mr Brassington in
Storm Audio V55 150W amplifier, was £3500 (for its performance should have been priced at £5-6k in our opinion) now offered for £1825. It's a wonderful amplifier, greatly under-rated, that we've used twice at shows just because it is so good. Read more details ex-dem
Posted on 13 September 2014
Do you realise how much vibration damages your music?
Discover the answers in our continuous demonstrations at the National Audio Show** next week, 20 and 21 September – and win a £400 remedy!
If you've pooh-poohed this topic in the past you owe yourself 15 minutes in Syndicate S 24 to hear differences that will change your upgrade priorities.
Quite simply, you will gain more upgrade benefit from this demonstration than seeking out a new CD player or amplifier.
We always start with sceptics but, after a short demonstration, end with people who look as though they've seen a miracle – which they have!
For the show next week we’ve chosen electronics valued at only about £8k, to show how good even a simple system can sound when vibration and RFI are removed.
And prepare to be shocked how drab it sounds when we remove supports and cables that drain the energy from the system! These will be 'night and day’ differences that you can achieve with your system.
There’s a prize draw to win a Vertex AQ Component Grounding Block that plugs into spare sockets to drain vibration and RFI.
What’s the damage?
Vibration – generated within the system by power supplies and the loudspeakers – is carried everywhere through the metal cables. Conventional isolation is actually the worst thing to do because it traps the energy and, with nowhere to escape, it shakes microphonic circuits carrying delicate signals.
But insert Vertex components – such as a distribution block and mains cables with built-in energy-absorbing labyrinths – and the system springs to life. Music makes more ‘sense’, edginess is reduced, timing is better as bass is cleaner and there’s more ‘air’ around performers.
Can vibration really do that much damage? You bet it can and we’ll be demonstrating just how much.
Read much more here on our web site: Vertex AQ
Enjoyment of even the best systems can be spoilt by the room response. Problems come from hard surfaces and unfortunate dimensions that create bloated, slow bass.
We will show how a basic room can be vastly improved using high-tech energy absorption – note, we said energy, not frequency, this is not the usual approach using blocks of foam and soft materials that distort the frequency spectrum.
** The National Audio Show is at Whittlebury Hall, near Towcester in Northants, NN12 8QH on Saturday and Sunday 20 and 21 September. Read more here:
Hear us in room Syndicate S 24
If you already know something about Vertex products you may be interested in these new ones in the range.
The HiRez Taga Balanced Distribution Block builds on the performance of the Standard and HiRez Tagas, and includes some of the features of the high-end Aletheia balanced PSUs. A custom-designed transformer, designed to minimise vibration (over-size core and tightly wound), supplies 300W to four balanced mains outputs for source components. It also contains the usual vibration and RFI-absorbing modules, a Jaya shunt mains filter module and full silver wiring. But the addition of the balanced mains output brings both far better isolation from outside mains noise, and common mode noise rejection on its balanced output feeds to cancel out any further noise pickup. Two extra sockets provide unbalanced but RFI-filtered direct feeds for power amplifiers.
The unit is 520mm x 132mm x 120mm with a UK retail price of £3,500.
The Aneto DC Blocker is Vertex AQ’s new DC blocking mains conditioner module. The Aneto blocks DC on the mains from entering equipment transformers and prevents the all-too-common buzz through core saturation. Within the module is packed the DC blocking circuit and also a Jaya shunt mains filter circuit, plus the usual Vertex acoustic absorption and RFI treatments.
The Aneto is an inline mains unit with an IEC inlet socket on a 220mm x 105mm x 45mm module with a captive output lead. It is supplied in three performance levels to match the other Vertex mains products – Standard, Silver and HiRez and priced at £600, £950 and £1,450 respectively.
3. The Yushan Cable Risers. These '100mm cubes' are designed for use primarily with non-Vertex mains and speaker cables. Naturally, they lift your cables which can help to reduce the pickup of vibration from the floor. But these risers do much more – they contain proprietary acoustic labyrinth and EMI absorption materials to not only reduce even more the possibility of feeding vibration in from the floor, but also to drain vibration and absorb RFI out of the cables they support. A set of six retails at £800.00
Posted on 05 September 2013
It's the big hifi show of the year – and again we wowed visitors with one of the best sounds at the show. They said so.
Stars were the Kawero! Chiara standmount speakers and the LeadingEdge room acoustics panels.
Other highlights were:
• VTL's S-200
stereo valve amplifier, finalised version – we think it's going to re-write the rules for high-power, reliable, valve amplification
• Aurender's W20
streamer – absolutely superb quality from CD and hi-resolution downloads – all very simple as well, what we're calling 'streaming civilised' at last
• Kawero!'s Chiara
standmount loudspeaker that's had praise heaped upon it by hifi+ magazine and The Audio Beat
• Aletheia's dac-1.5
– an upgraded version with highly specified components, the dac-1 earning the comment from hifi+ 'mourning for the loss of music' when it was returned
There were other pretty special items in support:
TP-6.5 phono stage and TL-5.5 preamp
• Spiral Groove
SG 1.1 turntable and Centroid arm
PSU2 supplying clean mains to all the components, balanced supply to the source items Hidden ingredients
– at the beating heart of this system
Those are the boxes you see and the components that always attract attention. Every one is a High End star but they'd be 'ordinary' and even bland with limited dynamics without the energy draining, mains cleaning and room treatment in which we specialise. Too often dismissed as just 'accessories' these are the shy stars:
equipment racks that drain system-generated vibration, shield from RFI and EMI and isolate from external vibration
• Vertex AQ
cables that absorb and block vibration from being carried round the system
acoustic panels that remove surplus energy and 'quieten' the room, allowing the music signal to propagate into calmer air, lessening intermodulation – there were exclamations of 'Wow' and 'That's amazing' as we have received at other shows.
On Saturday evening we ran a special after-hours demonstration of the acoustics panels for an invited audience.
The contribution these last items make to a truly magnificent, enjoyable system is absolutely massive.Room Acoustics seminar
When you play music you’re also listening to the room. Sound excites the room nodes and resonances and it becomes another source. We ran room acoustics seminars each day to full rooms – for practical advice you can apply to any room to improve your musical enjoyment, without domestic grief. The LeadingEdge acoustic panels are very much part of this story.
There's more information on the products on this web site, with many links to further information and reviews.Prize draw!
We ran a draw for a chance to win a Vertex AQ Silver Jaya Plus, worth £644, that cleans the mains for sweeter high frequencies, tighter bass and just more detail. Musically, more involving.
We're pleased to announce that Mr C Halliday from Hertfordshire was the winner.
Posted on 08 February 2013
If you think your system already sounds pretty good be prepared to be shocked at the improvements that can be made using energy absorption and room treatment components from Vertex AQ and LeadingEdge – demonstrated at the Bristol hifi show** 22-24 February 2013.
From a simple system of a one-box CD player, an integrated amplifier and stand-mount speakers Steve Elford of Vertex AQ and Roy Gregory will show the massive improvements possible by progressively removing the damaging effects of system-generated vibration, changes that cannot be made by normal "upgrading" of the main components.
The LeadingEdge contribution will be the deceptive equipment racks – looking like nothing more than beautiful furniture that hide four significant upgrade technologies – and acoustic panels that can be freestanding or built-in. These panels have been developed for domestic use from experience with acoustic treatments in concert halls, conference centres and, most surprising, the air intakes of Airbus jet engines. The effects from even small areas are quite amazing.
However sceptical you might be you should not miss this opportunity to discover something new and radical. The best upgrade you will ever make. Read below the visitor reactions to shows we have done in the past.
** Marriott City Centre Hotel, Lower Castle Street, Bristol, BS1 3AD
Posted on 16 August 2012
At the September Whittlebury Hall show * we shall launch the new Kawero! Chiara loudspeakers that made such an impact and earned 'best sound' in Munich earlier this year.This is going to be a major event for us: see below for more on our planned demonstration – and other new products!
The Chiara is a standmount speaker developed from the Vivace and both in turn from technology introduced in the astonishing Kawero! Classic.
A defining feature of all these loudspeakers is the way the rear-firing drive units have been designed to work with and couple to the room to maintain full power across the spectrum as frequency rises and the cone radiating area shrinks.
The astonishing performance – and it does take listeners by surprise – of all the speakers is a combination of some of the world's best drive units and crossover components, the design skills of one of Germany's top acoustics experts and acoustic energy control based on Vertex AQ's developments over the years.
First impressions of the Chiara are "How can they produce bass of such power and quality?" Then it becomes apparent that mid and treble, thanks to the superb ribbon tweeter, are equally impressive.
The result is speakers that produce a huge soundstage filled with natural-sounding, lifelike performers in medium-sized rooms.
The Kaiser Acoustics factory in Bavaria has superb veneering and finishing skills so the appearance of the speakers can be almost whatever the customer wants, to match preferences and listening room décor.
Read more under Loudspeakers – Kawero!Show system – more new products
This time we are featuring vinyl as the source – in style! – with two new-to-us Spiral Groove turntables SG1.1 and SG2 side by side for comparison. Both will show off the new Spiral Groove Centroid arm, an engineering tour-de-force, built to master the complex forces that can bedevil vinyl playback.
There will also be the new S200 valve amplifier from VTL, in answer to the clamour for VTL's best performance in a one-box chassis. We believe this amplifier is very important – it will re-write the rules for affordable, reliable
Yet another new product will be the Aletheia PSU2 to supply spectacularly clean power to the system, built using Vertex's expertise in dumping damaging vibration right down to individual circuit component level.
The rest of the system will be more familiar, with VTL's TP6.5 valve phono stage and TL7.5 preamp, all supported on the revolutionary LeadingEdge racks and everything linked by Vertex AQ cables. *
Click here for the show web site Whittlebury Hall Show
and to book advance tickets
Posted on 31 May 2012
Once again the all-conquering combination of Vertex AQ and LeadingEdge components has earned a "best sound at the show" commendation – this time at the huge and prestigious Munich High End Show at the beginning of May.
"… the best sound at the MOC was to be found in the Leading Edge room. A cooperative venture between UK-based Vertex AQ and the German loudspeaker manufacturer and architectural acoustics company Kaiser, Leading Edge offer a complete range of mechanically coupled supports and room acoustic treatments."
This achievement is particularly remarkable considering the very difficult acoustic conditions and the competition from some very expensive systems elsewhere at the show, in a total of nearly 300 rooms.
Read also the link at the top of this report: Show acoustics to understand better how effective the new LeadingEdge panels and racks proved in these challenging conditions.
There's a domestic application of the panels on this site: Living room under Room Acoustics that has tamed an otherwise "shouty" and reverberant room so that conversation is easy despite the hard surfaces. Ordinary living rooms, restaurants and offices can benefit hugely.
Posted on 31 March 2012
It was a great show, even though it was a new and unfamiliar venue. We received more unprompted praise for the sound and some very positive interest in follow-on demonstrations.
New to the UK were the VTL MB-185 mono block power amplifiers that worked magnificently with the Focal Scala Utopia loudspeakers. New to most visitors were the deceptive LeadingEdge equipment platforms that hide astonishing talents inside beautiful furniture.
We ran a Prize Draw to win a Vertex AQ Silver Jaya mains filter worth £614 and Mr G Preston in Surrey is the winner.
It’s very rewarding when visitors say:
- Superb sound – CA
- Very nice-sounding system. Never heard dCS sound better and always liked the Focal sound, especially that tweeter – IE
- Again one of the best sounds at the show – SK
- Very dynamic and clean system – VC
- A delight to the eyes and ears! Beautiful to look at and a truly wonderful listening experience – AG
- Demo of Puccini, Scala, VTL – Brilliant! – AJ
- Very smooth, articulate sound – PMc
- Nice sound. Focals can convey a sense of scale easily – JR
- As always, the best sounds in the show! Keep it up Jeremy!! – DM-B
Components in the system were:
- dCS Puccini upsampling CD/SACD player
- dCS U-Clock
- VTL TL-6.5 valve preamp
- VTL MB-185 valve mono block amplifiers
- Focal Scala Utopia loudspeakers
- LeadingEdge equipment racks
- Vertex AQ mains cleaning and system cabling
We chose the room for its proportions and booked it early on. With dimensions of about 5m wide x 8m long x 3m high it was close to the ideal Golden Ratio. Sound was very even throughout, with no perceptible bass peaks or troughs.
"You're right about the lack of standing waves in the room! Very good sound." – DB
Each day we gave a one-hour seminar on room acoustics with practical tips on ways to improve performance without turning the living room into a recording studio.
The LeadingEdge platforms are deceptive because within their cabinet-quality structure are some serious audiophile talents: vibration-draining to clean away haze and muddle and improve timing, RFI and EMI screening for more hash reduction, panels to reduce airborne sound interference and isolation from external vibration. Read here for more detail: LeadingEdge .
A message we try to put across at all our shows is that the sound visitors enjoy is by no means solely the product of good components. In fact, the major components change with every show from less sophisticated to some of the best in the world – but the praise "one of the best sounds in the show" is consistent.
There's a simple reason – we always use Vertex AQ equipment supports, cables and mains cleaning. They are responsible for removing the damage that plagues all systems, at any level and releasing the capability of the system components.
The new VTL MB-185 amplifiers, now fully-balanced, have many component up-grades and improved controls to give a sweeter, more musical top and mid-range and a quick taut bass – an ideal combination of musicality with dynamics and drive.
A key innovation, is the variable Damping Factor feedback that offers improved control of loudspeaker loads.
Another change with the Series III is a switch to the naturally organic-sounding EL34 valves. With the upgrades the new amps are more musically coherent than the Series II and the improved power supplies keep them stable into demanding loads and with complex music that make lesser amps wilt.
Microprocessor-control of valve voltages maintains VTL’s reputation for outstanding reliability.
Posted on 28 February 2012
Again we enjoyed highly favourable comments on our demonstration at the Bristol Sound and Vision show (24-26 Feb) where we featured a full GamuT system and launched in the UK the GamuT M'inent M5 loudspeakers.
We were necessarily limited by the size of the usual hotel bedroom but visitors passed very favourable comments and a good number stayed for long periods or came back for a second visit – always a good sign.
GamuT has received universal acclaim in reviews and at shows for its elevated S-series loudspeakers, with their elaborate and expensive cabinet designs. The aim of the M-series of M3 (standmount), M5 and M7 is to capture the essence of that performance level in a more affordable package. Tone Audio magazine made the top-of-the-range S9 their Product of the Year in 2010. A key feature of these speakers and their musicality is that the midrange drivers connect directly to the amplifier for a natural, lifelike sound.
GamuT electronics in the shape of the well-established and highly-regarded CD3 CD player, D3i preamp and D200i stereo power amp formed the heart of the system. A vinyl source was a Clearaudio Concept MC turntable playing LPs through a Fosgate all-valve phono stage using its MC setting.
As always, we used Vertex AQ cables and mains cleaning, together with the beautiful furniture-quality Leading Edge equipment racks. Vertex vibration and RFI/EMI absorption are built into the platforms, plus protection from airborne sound pressure.
Posted on 20 February 2012
We shall be launching the GamuT M5 loudspeakers at the show, working with one of our favourite suppliers, Audio Reference in Room 234. In fact the demonstration will be a GamuT tour de force featuring also their D3i preamplifier and the renowned D200i amplifier.A new Clearaudio turntable, the Concept MC package, will be linked into the Fosgate all-valve phono stage, also making its UK début.
The digital source will be the Accustic Arts Drive 2 Reference transport, decoded by the non-oversampling Vertex Aletheia DAC.
Underpinning the system will be Leading Edge equipment supports with built-in Vertex vibration absorption, RFI and EMI shielding and airborne sound pressure absorption. The system will be linked up with Vertex cables and fed from their mains cleaning Taga distribution block.
Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre
2 Lower Castle Street, Old Market
Posted on 12 December 2011
Our confidence in these Kawero Vivace loudspeakers just goes on growing. Not only have we received many glowing, spontaneous comments from listeners at shows – see show reports below – but now hifi+ magazine has rated them amongst 'the best of the best'. Our Vivaces are in elevated company with the likes of Sonus Faber Amati Futura, B&W 802D and Focal Stella Utopia EM.
Their summary of the Vivace: 'It's one of those speakers that gets under the listener's skin and you find yourself unable to listen to anything else.'
Read more about the extraordinary capabilities and the brilliance of the design: Vivace loudspeakers
Posted on 05 October 2011
So much to show and so much to say at this September's Whittlebury Hall show:
• the launch of the LeadingEdge equipment racks and room acoustic panels,
• demonstrating how good CD and hi-res download music could sound from a
• and further outings for the new-this-year improved Vertex Aletheia DAC and the
Kawero Vivace loudspeakers.Our prize draw for a VertexAQ Silver Jaya mains filter was won by Mr Ralph of Peterborough.
When people stay to listen or return several times to the room…
“Best-sounding system of the show”
“Lovely sound – very musical”
“Digital has at last come of age”
“As usual from The Right Note, one of the best in the show”
“The wall panels are amazing” (more information below)
… we know we are doing something right!
Visitors might possibly have thought, “Of course a £100k system sounds good –why would it not! – but that’s way beyond my means”. Two important points:
1. We’ve all heard expensive systems that have sounded awful – a serious question, WHY?
2. The essence of that good sound is within most people’s reach. Our lovely speakers and amps were just revealing it.
LeadingEdge platforms in Cherry, supported in racking finished in optional Piano Black. Note the Mini Panels flanking the electronics.
In many ways our demonstration this year was a VertexAQ tour de force. The clarity and musicality that visitors heard almost wholly stemmed from vibration absorption and mains cleaning by Vertex cables and platforms, but also significantly from treatments right inside their Aletheia DAC and the Vivace speaker crossovers.
In other words, Vertex kit kept it clean from source to ears and the electronics protected that signal. One of the points we tried to make was that anybody can add Vertex components to any system, at any price level, to make the most of the equipment they have bought.
The Vertex HiRez speaker cables and theVivace loudspeaker have been selected by hifi+ magazine as amongst ‘the best of the best’. A good number of visitors had read the recent review of the Vivace speakers in the magazine and had come to listen, expressing lustful comments about their performance and appearance.
After proving that computer-based music can sound superb with the right treatment the main theme in our room was the launch of the LeadingEdge range of equipment racks and room acoustic panels.
The LeadingEdge concept is to build the elements of VertexAQ technology – established over 11 years – into craftsman-quality equipment racks and to add the acoustics skills of their German manufacturing partner, Kaiser Akustik. More detail about the special features: LeadingEdge
A double-sided acoustic D Panel finished in Light Oak, available singly and in different heights.
Striking 2m-high acoustic panels gave visitors a taste of their room treatment potential. Kaiser Akustik have developed a method of controlling the velocity of sound in a room, using carefully designed perforated panels that can be finished in a choice of veneers or colours. An ideal application is to make them part of the décor in a modern ‘noisy’ room that has hardwood floors and minimal furnishing. The change can be spectacular, reducing the ‘sound’ of the room significantly.
This same acoustic perforation technique is used on the Mini Panels that flank the main components on the rack and on the underside of each shelf to absorb airborne energy. RF absorption using 'stealth' material is built into the Mini Panels, allowing an electronic component on a LeadingEdge rack to be screened from RF interference on up to four sides.
Valve amplification was by VTL, using their top-level TL-7.5 preamp and the fully-balanced MB-450 monoblocks that made such a good impression last year. Luke Manley, President of VTL, was on hand to brief visitors and to answer questions.
Jeremy Baldwin of The Right Note (left) and Steve Elford of VertexAQ with the demonstration setup
Posted on 26 August 2011
In Issue 82 of hifi+ magazine there is an excellent and comprehensive review of our Kawero! Vivace loudspeaker. Paul Messenger, highly-regarded as one of the most experienced loudspeaker reviewers, has brought to life his listening with the speakers over several weeks.
It's worth reading the four pages of the review more than once because there are several layers to peel back.
Paul does raise questions over some aspects of the performance, particularly at the outset, but it's clear that he thoroughly enjoyed their music-making and 'was very sorry when the time came for them to be collected.' He makes very valid points about the difficulty for the reviewer of assessing a complex, unusual and high-performance product.
His questions concern the tonal balance of the speakers, the relationship especially between bass and treble. This Vivace pair contains the optional Vertex crossover and Steve Elford of the company helped Paul with positioning the speakers in his (acknowledged) bass-sensitive room. Steve also made some simple modifications to balance the bass response better to the room. (Read the Vertex reaction to the review: Vertex view )
After these changes and as he lived longer with the speakers he describes the 'very clean bass delivery', 'with excellent agility, plenty of bass detail, and an exceptionally wide dynamic range'. The midrange is labelled 'quite outstanding' with examples of new revelations in the performances.
Paul's experience with the treble region is especially interesting because there are parallels with the reactions of some customers who take time to adjust to a system that does not sound like their own. The Vivace treble is produced by the extraordinary Mundorf Air Motion Transformer that is rather like a 4-litre engine doing 40mph – effortless. In this way it has massive reserves of headroom and is very smooth, 'silky smooth' in Paul's words. When there is distortion or resonance in any system component it will tend to accentuate matching frequencies in the music, making them stand out – so minimal distortion, minimal accenting.
Later Paul concludes 'this speaker doesn't sound in the least bit dull, and actually seems very well judged'.
Overall 'its magnificent dynamic range, fine timing and superior coherence actually provide rather more information about the recording processes than any other speaker I can readily recall' – from one of the most experienced loudspeaker reviewers. Yes.
That is why we added them to our portfolio. Hear them in our large room at the Whittlebury Hall show 24-25 September – see the news item below. Read more about the loudspeakers here: Kawero Vivace
Here is a link to download the article: vivace review hifi+.pdf
Posted on 03 August 2011
This year we will be showing how superb computer-based music replay can be. Admittedly it will be an awesome system but our techniques can be applied to systems at all price levels. Similar setups have previously earned us many “best sound at the show” comments, from visitors and magazines.
The Copse Suite is a good-sized room (about 24' x 34') with comfortable audience conditions, where the sound stage we shall create should match the dimensions of the room. It will be an experience.
We are thrilled to be handling the UK launch of the LeadingEdge brand of superb equipment supports and room acoustic treatments, products combining the proven technology talents of VertexAQ and the acoustic knowledge and manufacturing skills of Kaiser Akustik in Germany. These may well be the first products to define the ideal balance between superb musical performance and domestic harmony. Read more on the VertexAQ site
There will even be upgrades, with the VTL amplification, on the system we fielded at the London Park Inn show earlier this year that earned the "Far and away the best sound at the show…" accolade from hifi+ magazine. (For more see the two news items below.)
The system will contain some of the best components in the world but remember, they can’t make the sound better
, they just reveal better what is there:
- MacBook Pro as the music source, running Pure Music software
- VertexAQ Aletheia DAC, with no upsampling or noise-shaping - Aletheia dac-1
- VTL TL-7.5 two-box preamp, one of the very best - VTL brand
- VTL MB-450 monoblock valve amplifiers, made a great impression last year
- Kawero Vivace loudspeakers, part of “Far and away the best sound…” at the Heathrow show - Vivace
- Vertex AQ mains filters and cables, always in our systems - Vertex AQ brand
- New LeadingEdge equipment platforms and racks, hiding Vertex RFI and EMI technology in exquisite furniture
- New LeadingEdge acoustic treatment panels, designed from true acoustic principles with an exquisite finish
Click the links to read about the components and this one Digital advice
to read more about the subject.
Here is a link to the show web site: National Audio Show
Register in advance on this site for an E-Ticket to save £3 on the cost of the entrance fee. Compelling reasons in support of computer audio are, it seems to us:
- the opportunity for superb sound quality if correctly decoded
- ultimate convenience of being able to choose anything in your library from your armchair
- neat storage with all your music contained on hard discs
Vertex AQ build clever filters that clean the mains without limiting current and musical dynamics. One lucky person will win the excellent Silver Jaya we are offering as a prize – as if you needed more temptation to visit us!
Posted on 02 August 2011
When visitors to our room at the London Park Inn show in March came back again and again, to sit and listen with rapt attention, we knew we were doing a lot of things right.
"Far and away the best sound at the show was that in the Right Note room." This was the verdict of hifi+ magazine in their report on the show.
The writer went on to mention our new Vivace loudspeakers and his overall comment was: "The sound was expressive, fast, deep and detailed. More importantly it was believable at any volume level, which is an almost impossible task given the potential of the average hotel room."
Read the previous article for details of the system.
Posted on 29 March 2011
We can fairly claim that our demonstration at the Heathrow Park Inn show was an outstanding success, with comments like these from visitors :
- Just about the best system I have ever heard in 45 years of listening to hifi
- Fantastic setup, great-sounding system
- Stunning! Wife really liked the design. Well done
- Best sound in show
- Brilliant demo of what stereo should really sound like
- Clear, concise relaxing sound
- Very impressed with sound, speakers especially
- Excellent presentation, great sound
- Very well explained, particularly the materials used
- I can honestly say yours was the best sound I have ever heard from a hifi system, very lifelike.
In a room the size of a large living room we were demonstrating a system with an Accustic Arts Drive2 transport
, the new Vertex AQ Aletheia dac-1 dac-1
, a Storm Audio V55 integrated amplifier Storm Audio
and our new Kawero Vivace
We were rewarded with a thrilling, large-scale, natural-sounding musical picture that simply hung in space at the end of the room, seemingly unrelated to loudspeakers.
We were lucky enough to have Rainer Weber, the loudspeaker designer, with us from Germany to explain the astonishingly clever psychoacoustics of the Vivace that allow the loudspeaker to integrate and use the room creatively to present a harmonically rich, natural sound picture.
When people come back to the room two or three times and some stay for 30 minutes or more we know we are doing something right. Thank you visitors for your interest and your comments – very rewarding.
Steve Elford (left) of Vertex AQ and Rainer Weber with the system
As well as the dac-1 there were significant numbers of other Vertex AQ components helping to create the clean, open, grand-scale sound by absorbing damaging acoustic energy and mains, RFI and EMI contamination, such as:
- HiRez Kinabalu equipment platforms
- HiRez interconnects
- HiRez speaker cables and
- HiRez Taga mains distribution block
On show was an example of the optional Vivace loudspeaker crossover, built in an H-shape on the Tankwood material that is used in the cabinet construction. All the crossover components are mounted onto the same HiRez labyrinth material as used in the platforms and Taga, allowing the Vertex technology to work at its most effective point, right in the heart of the loudspeaker, to absorb energy, RFI and stray magnetic fields.
Note the very dense, highly-compressed beech ply Tankwood and the best Mundorf Supreme capacitors
Posted on 07 March 2011
This show is a major event for us with both the launch of the Vivace loudspeakers and the first showing of the finalised and improved version of Vertex AQ's Aletheia DAC. We shall also be using the superb and reliable VTL pre and power valve amplifiers, plus a lot of Vertex support and cabling components.
We are delighted to have booked one of the best demonstration rooms, right by the reception desk. It is sufficiently large to accommodate a good number of people without a crush but about the size of a larger living room. This will give a natural scale to the performance.
There's a chance to win a Vertex AQ Silver Jaya mains filter in our draw. Plugged in alongside a music system this filter cleans RF pollution from the mains for a clearer, sweeter and more open sound.
Posted on 07 March 2011
We were just bowled over by the performance of this new loudspeaker, a descendant of the Kaiser Kawero (Google it!) that has been earning rave 'best sound' comments at shows.We think the Vivace is going to be an even bigger success here because it is slightly smaller, slimmer and less expensive yet is built to the same standard as its bigger brother. The pair being launched at the Heathrow Park Inn show on 26/27 March will be the first to incorporate a major upgrade in the form of Vertex RF and EM interference screening in the best possible place, in the heart of the crossover.
Read more under Loudspeakers Kawero and more on our demonstrations at the show here under News.
Posted on 22 October 2010
At the influential Rocky Mountain Audio Fair (16-17 October) VTL stunned experienced industry listeners and journalists with the performance of the newly-introduced Series III TL-7.5 preamplifier and MB-450 monoblock valve amplifiers.
Read a fascinating Stereophile report here: Stereophile report and note how the sound improved significantly on the second day.
Here is an extract:
“… the CD playback was nothing short of wondrous…”
"Having heard Sutherland live on several occasions, including her 1961 debut at the Metropolitan Opera, I had a good idea what to expect. What I heard, however, surpassed all expectations. Once Joanie rose into the stratosphere, I heard the biggest, brightest, most glowing sounds I have ever heard from one of her recordings. The experience was almost as wondrous as anything I heard from Sutherland live."
“This was the best digital reproduction of the soprano voice I have ever experienced. It was impossible to listen to that track without understanding why Sutherland was dubbed La Stupenda. All I could do was shake my head in awe.”
Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile RMAF 2010 Show Report “VTL’s Big Launch”
VTL show report
Read the VTL account of the show – rmaf2010 report.pdf
This was a big, no-holds-barred system with some of the best equipment in the world:
Read the full description in the Stereophile report.
- dCS Paganini four-box CD/SACD player
- Basis turntable
- VTL TP-6.5 phono stage
- VTL TL-7.5 two-box preamp
- VTL MB-450 monoblock power amplifiers
- Wilson Audio Sasha loudspeakers
- Transparent cables specially tuned
Posted on 27 September 2010
What a superb, rewarding response we've had from visitors to our room at the show. There were many verbal comments such as "the best sound" and even more – perhaps from people more cautious with their compliments – "one of the best sounds".
We were delighted to have discussions with a number of people seriously interested in making improvements to their home systems after hearing the sounds we were making.
Admittedly, this time we had a no-holds-barred system but there were other very high-end systems at the show that received critical comment. The fact that we saw a significant number of people returning for second and third visits and staying to listen says it all.
In the large room we were able to play large-scale orchestral and band music to inspiring levels but small-scale, more intimate pieces by female singers were equally successful. This system could play intimate and beguiling as well as commanding.
We were playing both CD/SACD and computer-based high resolution recordings through the four-box dCS Paganini, thence into the new Series III VTL 7.5 two-box preamplifier and either their new MB-450 valve monoblocks or the S400 stereo valve amplifier. Speakers were the Focal Scalas.
There was a significant amount of Vertex AQ support, cabling and mains cleaning components that made their contribution to the clean, open and involving sound.
Everybody was astonished at the speed, clarity, power and control of the VTL MB-450 valve monoblocks and the 450W of power on tap, per channel. "Tell me the bad news, are they much more than £25k?" was one voice from the audience. "No, I'm pleased to say they are £17.5k." "You mean each?" "No, that's for the pair!"
A selection of other comments, written on the competition cards:
- "Best sound at the show" – Basil
- "Unbelievable sound quality – simply stunning" – Chris
- "Very musical, natural. An oasis!" – Paul
- "Very professional dem" – Julian
- "I was amazed by the differences made by the Vertex components" – John
- "Sounded excellent – certainly tops at the show, possibly best" – Alex
– and one by email:
"If there was such a thing as a "Best Sound of Show" award then you should be the recipient.
The point I want particularly to make is this: several other rooms featured similar equipment ( dCS/VTL/Focal). They all produced good sound. But you had convincing, captivating, emotionally charged music
. The difference between the merely good and what I heard in your room must be the supporting equipment (Vertex) and the knowledge and set up skills that you brought in order to make the equipment really sing." – Pete
See below for a full list of all the components in the system.Focal Scala speakers flanking the VTL MB-450 monoblock amplifiers and the S400 stereo (in Silver), with the dCS Paganini four-box system and the VTL 7.5 preamp (hidden) on the racks behind
Equipment used in the system:
- dCS Paganini CD/SACD upsampling transport, Upsampler with USB input, DAC and Clock (Note: it's possible to start with just the transport and DAC and to drive the power amp direct, without a separate preamp)
- VTL TL-7.5 new Series III two-box preamp
- VTL MB-450 new Series III 450W monoblock amplifiers – or
- VTL S400 stereo 400W amplifier
- Focal Scala Utopia loudspeakers
- Vertex AQ mains cleaning, support platforms and (mainly) HiRez cabling, including the new HiRez Moncayo speaker cables.
Posted on 26 September 2010
The response of visitors yesterday was outstanding!
The sound in our large room (about 15m x 8m) was inspiring and we have had a number of long conversations with visitors very
interested in the dCS Paganini digital front end and the astonishing VTL valve power amplifiers, including the 450W monoblocks. "Tell me the bad news, are they much more than £25k?" was one voice from the audience. "No, I'm pleased to say they are £17.5k." "You mean each?" "No, that's for the pair!"
The scale, control, speed and natural presence these amplifiers offer has re-written the rule book on valve amplifiers for many people.
We hope you have the chance to hear this demonstration for your self.MB-450 Series III 450W monoblock amplifiers, in silver or black
Posted on 06 September 2010
With help from our suppliers we're taking over the Interlagos Room at the Show, greatly increasing our presence, and launching two very significant products.
Demonstrations will still be based around high resolution computer files but the equipment will now include the latest VTL 450W monoblock amplifiers, making their début in this room. Digital processing will be by dCS and speakers by Focal with their Scalas. Luke Manley of VTL will fly in from the US.
As always with our installations we shall be using large amounts of Vertex AQ cables and supports, including the genuinely breathtaking new HiRez Moncayo speaker cables. Unlike many loudspeaker cables that act like aerials, these cables have the extraordinary "stealth technology" shielding to absorb (not screen) damaging RF energy, for a truly astonishing leap in musical energy, pinpoint imaging and natural presence. You may not like the price but you will
love the sound!
Here's a link to the show web site: Our demonstration
Posted on 16 May 2010
We shall be demonstrating the amazing musical results from high resolution computer files, as we did in March at the London Park Inn show when visitors spontaneously praised our sound as one of the best at the show.
Components are likely to be the dCS Debussy DAC, Gamut amplification, Focal speakers, Velodyne sub-woofer and Vertex AQ cables and supports.
Read more about the show: Whittlebury Hall